Wrestling Coaches

Coach Matt Paeth

Head Wrestling Coach Matthew Paeth

Matthew Paeth, Holley, N.Y., joins the OJC coaching staff as the Head Coach of the new wrestling program.

Paeth began wrestling at the age of 7. He is a four-time New York State Champion in Greco Roman wrestling and a three-time USA Wrestling All-American. While training for USA wrestling and international events, Paeth was a member of the Buffalo Wrestling Club at the University at Buffalo. He placed fourth in the 2004 Eastern US Olympic team trials.

A USA Wrestling Bronze certified coach, he has experience coaching at the high school and college levels. While at Kansas Wesleyan University, Paeth helped start the first wrestling program in the school’s history and helped to recruit student athletes. While at Waldorf College in Forrest City, Iowa, he coached 9 NAIA national qualifiers and 2 NAIA All Americans. He owned and operated WNY Elite Wrestling Club, a wrestling club designed to bring elite wrestlers from all over Western New York together to train during the summer months.

What drew Paeth to Otero Junior College was the fit for him as a coach. “I hope to help our student athletes get to the next level in their education as well as their wrestling,” said Paeth.

Paeth is a graduate of the University of Buffalo with a degree in agricultural engineering. In his free time, Paeth enjoys hunting and fishing. He is also a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan.

Coach Abram Lopez

Assistant Wrestling Coach Abram Lopez

Abram Lopez, Rocky Ford, will add his expertise as Assistant Wrestling Coach, joining with Matthew Paeth, who moved up to Head Coach after assisting the program last year.

Lopez has been a Folkstyle director for Colorado USA Wrestling and previously worked as an assistant wrestling coach for the No Mercy School of Wrestling in Vista, Calif. He has an Associate of Arts degree in business from Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif., and is currently working on a BAS in operations management through Arizona State online.

“Southeastern Colorado has always had solid wrestling program,” said Lopez. “I see this position as a great way to get local kids to the next level of wrestling and expand their education opportunities.”

Lopez hopes to start building a wrestling dynasty for OJC as well as expand offseason wrestling opportunities, perhaps internationally.

Outside of work, Lopez enjoys reading books, playing chess and lifting weights.